We’ve had the pleasure of printing some stellar illustrations. Our centrefolds have been crafted in a range of far-off lands, from Spain, France, and Germany, right through to the UK and other exotic paradises like Australia. Yeye Weller is one of our most recognisable, featuring not only on the current cover but the centre of both Issue 2 and Issue 6. We caught up with our favourite German illustrator to discuss all things sausage, street art, and (yellow) submarines.
Nexus: You live all the way on the other side of the globe in Münster, Germany. What’s it like over there?
YW: After Googling Hamilton, New Zealand, I can tell you it’s totally different. No sea, no palm trees; but twice as many bicycles as the population. Münster is mainly famous for its rain and a lot of churches, but I love living here. On the one hand, it’s a pretty historical city, and on the other hand, there’s a very young, student vibe. If you ever visit, you have to taste Pinkus [Müller] beer and a Westphalian “schlachtplatte” at Gasthaus Leve; a dish with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and many different sausages.
Nexus: Your artwork is, to be frank, fucking amazing. How’d you get started in illustration?
YW: I don’t know. I painted, and drew with crayons like any other kid, and doodled in my exercise book like every teenager does. But I think the turning point was starting out with skateboarding. From the beginning, I was fascinated by all the great skating artwork, and I collected all the ads and stickers of my favourite brands. When I was about 14, a friend at gave me a cracked version of Adobe Photoshop. I became absolutely addicted, and just a short time later, we founded our own little skateboard shirt label. From there, the ball started rolling.
Nexus: We’ve noticed your illustrations have a lot of animals; mice, dogs, bears... How much inspiration do you take from classic animation style?
YW: Oh, [laughs] “inspiration”—one of my favourite words. In the graffiti biz, people call inspiration “biting” [biting: to steal another artist’s ideas, name, lettering, or colour schemes.] Some graffiti artists say that they are inspired by music and nature, but I think they’re all liars. There’s nothing better than the internet. Of course, I watched countless cartoons in my childhood, and I still love so many of them, but they haven’t affected in me an artistic way. If I’m honest, the only artist who’s had a sustained influence on me is Heinz Edelmann, and his artwork for ‘Yellow Submarine’. I watched the animation a hundred times but was always amazed like it was the first time. The colours, characters, and music were perfect.
Nexus: How often do you illustrate/make art?
YW: Preferably every Monday to Friday. But being my own boss, things often interfere. Things like lying in bed until the afternoon, partying on a Tuesday, or just procrastination. No matter how much I love my job, it’s a struggle every day to get my ass up and go to work.
Nexus: Where are you headed from here? What’s your dream job?
YW: As a kid, I always wanted to be a singer. I never played an instrument, and I can’t sing very well, but I liked the idea of standing on a stage in front of a crowd. Today, I’m very glad that this dream didn’t come true, and I work as an illustrator instead. There’s no spotlight, no crowd, no screaming. Just me, my studio and some good music playing. Even though there are some struggles that come with working as a freelance illustrator, I would say it’s my dream job.
Nexus: Where can people find you online?
YW: Google Yeye Weller, or try www.instagram.com/yeyeweller